Rocket Composter tackles Multi-family Kitchen Waste

Rocket Composter from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

A pilot project offers multi-family buildings a way to divert kitchen waste from landfills. It also generates high quality compost at the same time. See how the Rocket Composter benefits residents of the Malaspina Village housing complex in Coquitlam.

When it comes to composting, multi-family locations present unique challenges. But a pilot project launched on Sept. 21, 2013, at Metro Vancouver’s Malaspina Village rental housing complex in Coquitlam, offers a new approach to dealing with organic waste.

Malcolm Brodie, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee spoke at the launch event.

“Reducing the amount of food waste we produce in the first place is the best option,” said Brodie . “But for unavoidable food waste like potato peels and rotting fruit, compost is king.”

The system that’s getting all this attention is called The Rocket and it turns household organic waste into high quality compost in just 6 weeks.

“At this point about 50% of the people (residents of Malaspina Village) are actively using the system,” said Ulryke Weissgerber, Metro Vancouver’s Tenant Programs & Service Supervisor. “It has exceeded all of our expectations.”

Malaspina Village Resident Kathy Snowdon is an enthusiastic user of The Rocket.

“I used to throw everything in the garbage, now I just put it in a little plastic container on my counter and then once or twice a week I come and put it in the bin here.”

The project is one of several approaches Metro Vancouver is trying out in multi-family settings, to address the upcoming ban on food waste in landfills, scheduled to take effect in 2015.

For Brodie, the Rocket not only addresses the need to reduce waste today. It also serves an important educational function.

“We tend to get away from the land and what it can do, and think of food waste as simply garbage,  so you take what would otherwise be garbage and you turn it into a useful material. It’s an invaluable lesson for the young people and I think they will also get very interested in it.”

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